Pros: Good skills at mood and scares. Government and Zombies as double threat.
Cons: Just another zombie movie.
The Crazies (2010) Directed by Breck Eisner
David: Who is the Sheriff of Picket County?
Russell: You are Dave.
David: And who is the Deputy?
Russell: That would be me.
David: Okay, I am telling you, you are not going to get sick. That is an order.
Russell: I hope it works that way. I know I'm no world beater, but, I have plans.
The sleepy little town of Ogden Marsh has problems. When the town drunk falls off the wagon and brings a shotgun to the first baseball game, it is up to Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant) to deal with the situation. This is not something he really ever planned on.
But when the blood alcohol level comes back 0.0 it is just a harbinger of worse things to come. It seems there is something going around, and it puts people a little...off. And it gets worse; much worse. While things are incubating quietly, a trio of hunters discovers a dead parachutist. Dave and his deputy Russell discover they plane he came out of; a huge one, submerged in the pond. Why was no alert sounded when this thing went missing? At just about the same time Sheriff David figures out how much trouble they are in, things get much worse. The phone is out. The internet is gone. And there is no signal for a cell phone.
What are the eleven scariest words in any language? "We are from the Government, and we are here to help." Think about it. How would FEMA react to a plague of the Crazies?
Let's face it, this is a Zombie movie. Okay, the Zombies are not the reanimated dead, but diseased people with uncontrollable urges to murder and mayhem, but it works out the same. The healthy people are trapped, and have to run a gauntlet to escape the shambling hordes. The only upside here is that chest wounds take out the zombies just as well as head shots.
There is only so much you can do with a zombie movie. There are better than average ones; 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead, but after a certain point it boils down to a betting pool on who will make it out alive. That said this one has several things going for it.
One, a good cast. Timothy Olyphant is great as the Sheriff, a family man who happens to have a badge. Radha Mitchell is his wife, the local doctor. Joe Anderson is the deputy Russell Clank.
Two, a new angle, with biological threats instead of the walking dead, and three, a better nemesis; the government trying to protect the entire world versus the individuals who don't particularly want to die for the greater good.
Okay, it's a remake, (George Romero, 1973) but it has a fresh edge in this day and age of terrorism and Anthrax laced letters. It is not great cinema, but it's a pretty good scare.
Certified Lean-N-Mean. Also entered into Captain D's Good Movie Write Off.